BETRAYAL

aHe was late that night. Really late.

“Rani must be furious by now. What a day! Meeting after meeting, no respite from work and no charge left in my mobile,” he thought to himself as he waited for the security to open the gate to his building. It was past midnight. Not a soul around, just the two men from the security services.

Once inside, he didn’t wait for the lift. Instead, he climbed the stairs, two at a time. Once outside his home, he rang the bell and waited. There was no sound from inside.

“Raaaniii!” he yelled and rang the bell again, repeatedly this time. He was tired; his entire body was sore. There was so much work at office. Maya’s become too demanding. She would want him to spend time with her at work and after work too. Today she had threatened to call Rani if he didn’t take her out for dinner. Phew! He made a mental note to sort this issue at the earliest. Rani shouldn’t find out anything. He loved her. He really did. Maya was a mistake which he cannot shake off.

Still, no sign of Rani. He took his phone out to call her but realised that it had no charge in it. Suddenly, he remembered that he had the keys. Rani would always be right by the door, so he never had to use them. Fumbling in his pocket, he got the keys out and opened the door. Inside, all the lights were switched on. Food was laid on the table, left untouched, cold now. Cursing himself, he mumbled, “She hasn’t eaten. But, where is she?”

“Rani!” he called, closing the main door shut. Wind blew in through the open french windows. It was October, already slightly chilly. He frowned looking at the open windows. Walking inside, he went to their room.

There she was, lying on the bed. He sighed with relief; no questions to answer tonight. He went directly inside the bathroom to change.

Coming back to the room, he noticed she hadn’t changed into her night clothes. Guess she was tired. But she hated to sleep without a bath and a change of clothes. Moving towards the phone, he saw she was holding her mobile in her hand. Chuckling to himself, he went to take the phone. “You are addicted to whatsapp, dear wife!” he whispered. Taking the phone, he shook her slightly to wake her up. With the jolt he pulled his hand back. She was cold.

But the room was warm! Heart beating fast, he shook her once more. She didn’t move. He looked at the mobile in his hand and unlocked it. The call history was open. One incoming call from Maya and 32 unanswered calls made to him. Maya’s call was about 5 mins long and about the same time she had threatened him that she will call Rani. Putting two and two together, he guessed that the call must have got connected by mistake and Rani had heard everything. Numb, he just sat at the feet of the bed, not sure what he should do. She was dead. SHE WAS DEAD. But how? How could his Rani die just like that! Their first child was due in four months and they were so happy! He wanted to scream but his voice got stuck in his throat. He sat there, staring at her. His Rani. No one has loved him as much as she had.

No one could. She has lived for him. And she has probably died because of him.

Minutes went by. The house was silent now, except for the clock ticking in the master bedroom, and occasional sobs of a man who thought he could handle it all.

Slowly, he pulled himself up and called the ambulance. They rushed in and the body was taken for postmortem. Rani had died of a heart attack. Reason of the heart attack unknown to the doctor and the police.

But one man knew. Law doesn’t recognise emotional trauma as a crime but God has his own ways to punish. The man who had killed his wife and his unborn child, would live the pain for years now.

 

Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma

Samarpita eats, sleeps and breathes content and her life revolves around words. She curates contents for many brands, of which The India Diaries happens to be the closest to the heart. An economist by education and a wordsmith by passion, she chose the life of a digital nomad after quitting full time journalism few years ago. A multi-tasker, this ex-journalist freelances as a content creator-cum-curator, manuscript editor, travel writer and social media manager.

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